MARCH 2-5, 2021

(Virtually the same conference, without elevators, airplane tickets, or hotel room keys)


The 2021 Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence will be presented at the 2021 National EHDI Conference in Cincinnati, OH. This award honors the life and work of Dr. Antonia Brancia Maxon to promote effective Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) programs for all newborns, infants, and young children. Dr. Maxon was a pioneer in EHDI programs, beginning with her leadership in the Rhode Island Hearing Assessment Project in the late 1980's. She was one of the first to recognize the feasibility and value of universal newborn hearing screening and was a tireless advocate for connecting screening programs with timely and appropriate diagnosis and early intervention.

Her extensive contributions to creating excellent EHDI programs were abruptly ended by a tragic automobile accident in May of 2007. In memory of her contributions, an Award for EHDI Excellence is presented each year at the National EHDI Conference to honor an individual who has made outstanding contributions to achieving excellence in EHDI programs nationally or in a particular state or region.

Presentation of the 2021 Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence will be made on Monday March 1, 2021 at the National EHDI Conference in Cincinnati, OH. More about the National EHDI Conference, including past nominees and recipients can be found below.

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Deb Behringer

Deb Behringer has worked in the field of nursing for over 25 years and has made significant contributions for over 10 years in the Michigan Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program. She started with the EHDI program as the community consultant and has been serving as the EHDI coordinator for the past five years. Her public health nursing background and extensive programming experience has brought tremendous expertise and knowledge to the EHDI team.

Upon reflection, Deb is responsible for many outstanding accomplishments and contributions with regards to improving the EHDI program. Her leadership has created many victories that have led to an overall improvement in our EHDI program. First, she has provided consistent and effective leadership when other programs experienced high degrees of staff turnover or reductions in program funding. Secondly, she approaches every new challenge or EHDI grant objective with energy and positivity. Her approach has always provided a new way to tackle the project at hand. Another accomplishment is that she has always provided exceptional support and guidance to organizations and partners who seek to ensure every infant with hearing loss is diagnosed and receives appropriate, timely intervention. For example, her phenomenal guidance and partner support is demonstrated in a recent email received from Michigan Hands and Voices which states, "Deb's guidance and support of our organization has been fundamental to our success as a contracting organization that supports families. She believes in the power of family engagement and is open to testing new strategies and ideas for positive outcomes. She supports us not only in the technical navigation of the requirements of a contracting organization, but even more importantly in supporting our vision and allowing us to "fly" with our work. Deb is a champion for families through her leadership."" Karen Wisinski, Mom of Child who is Hard of Hearing, Assistant Director: Michigan Hands & Voices.

In 2001, Deb led the process to create a parent consultant position within EHDI and spearheaded the development and financial support of the Guide By Your Side (GBYS) program within Michigan EHDI. Upon her return to EHDI in 2015, Deb further mentored parent leaders in Michigan Hands & Voices to allow for even more services to be offered, building on the success of the GBYS program. Deb's extensive experience with implementing the goals and objectives of federal grants, birth hospital site education and site visits, and statewide provider education has resulted in numerous HRSA and CDC grant applications being awarded to Michigan. Most recently, Deb has led initiatives on creating and implementing a Cytomegalovirus (CMV) strategic plan which includes educational materials for parents. She has also led a statewide promotion of Talking is Teaching, by creating bulletin boards for hospitals to utilize on the birth floor, and helped to create community collaboratives.